As Smashwords joins with the Oyster ebook subscription service, Mark Coker offers his thoughts on ebook subscription models in general:
In recent months, we’ve witnessed the launch of two high-profile ebook subscription services – Oyster and Scribd. Both aim to do for ebooks what Spotify did for music and what Netflix did for film and television entertainment.
They’ll provide readers access to an all-your-eyeballs-can-eat smorgasbord cornucopia of thousands of ebooks for a subscription fee ranging from only $8.99 per month (Scribd) to $9.95 per month (Oyster).
When talk of ebook subscription services surfaced in months past, there was much hand-wringing in the publishing community that such services would devalue books and harm publishers and authors.
Yet as the launches of Oyster and Scribd indicate, some (but not all) of those skeptics were silenced once they learned the publisher-friendly nature of the compensation models.
More is available on Mark's blog here; it's a two-part series.